Adelaide Writers Week kicked off today in the traditional glorious sunshine and, while I missed Tom Keneally’s opening speech at 11.00am, I made it to a seat in the shade to listen to Australian mystery writer, Peter Temple at 12.30pm. Born in South Africa, Temple moved to Australia in 1980 and has subsequently become one of our most highly awarded mystery authors. He has won a swag of gongs and his novel “The Broken Shore” won the 2007 Gold Dagger, making him the first Australian to win the world’s richest and most prestigious crime writing prize. His current novel, “Truth”, follows the investigations of Inspector Stephen Villani, to whom we were introduced in “The Broken Shore”. His engaging and self-deprecating manner was well received as he spoke about his experiences of writing, lying and being one of the very few authors whom editors beg to include more dialogue, not less!
I kept my seat in the shade to listen to Sarah Dunant, Geoff Dyer and Sarah Waters discussion “On Being Read”. The discussion focused around their perceptions of being read, how that affects their writing processes and the effects of the broad media exposure in the modern world of communications. Interestingly, both Dunant and Waters used the word “brutalizing” when referring to the internet and how close it brings their readers to them, while Geoff Dyer asserted that he actually had no readers anyway. Given that he has published 11 books (4 novels) and hundreds of essays and articles AND been named by Britain’s Sunday Telegraph as “England’s greatest, if most reluctant, novelist”, I think we have to assume that someone is reading his work. I know I will be very soon.
The last session that I made it to today was to listen to a nervous, but extremely dignified Chloe Hooper address a sombre audience on her book “The Tall Man”, about the death of Aboriginal man, Cameron Doomadgee, in police custody on Palm Island in 2004. She had no previous background, or connection to Aboriginal experience and spoke eloquently, if sadly, of what she had learned.”
Amanda McInerney is a long-time Boomerang Books customer and she is passionate about books and reading. She has just started her own foodie blog at http://lambsearsandhoney.com/.